It's no different for the business world. Amazon and Zoom couldn't have wished on a magic lamp for a year this good, but Disney and United are still reeling. In pharmaceuticals, prescriptions were hardly hurt at all, but in-person medical visits plunged — with telemedicine only recently filling the gap.
Given all this, it might seem like folly to make predictions for 2021. But we're able to make these 5 projections about next year's pharma marketing trends.
1. Traditional marketing won't die, but it will have to evolve
At its core, traditional marketing is about building relationships with HCPs. It's these deep roots that have allowed it to persist, even after social distancing made face-to-face meetings impossible.
In 2021, pharma marketers will master traditional marketing by nontraditional means, cutting out the artifice while retaining the focus on meeting HCPs where they are. In other words, traditional direct-to-consumer marketing will find a new life on digital channels, aided by AI (see #3).
2. Pharma marketing is refocusing on experiences
Patients hardly ever take drugs in isolation. Anti-depressants are paired with cognitive-behavioral therapy, painkillers with physical therapy, radiation treatments with counseling, and support from other cancer patients. As recognition of the patient experience grows, pharma marketers are connecting their firms and patients more directly, building their brands by making themselves available to answer questions and provide advice.
The benefit of an active role of pharma companies in patients' lives goes two ways — the patients get needed information from a trustworthy source, and pharma companies build trust and long-term relationships with their clients.
3. Artificial intelligence is king
AI can help manage it, but creative pharma marketers are taking it further — not just understanding their markets but actively targeting them in the contexts where they'll be the most receptive. Matching AI and a well-designed healthcare marketing plan improve audience targeting and digital marketing campaigns.
4. Telemedicine is the new product
Marketing sets the tone for care by controlling how the patient perceives their experience. This gives pharma marketers the chance to imagine new paradigms of care. By identifying the needs of patients and targeting the right audience, medical marketing can increase the visibility of telemedicine services and virtual visits. Creating a detailed telehealth marketing plan by mixing a well-established marketing strategy with the new approach to healthcare that telemedicine offers will establish trends in pharma and healthcare fields.
5. Telemedicine is the new product
Before advanced data collection and management, this was impossible; now, it's inevitable. It's as personal as marketing can get until we can tailor the drugs themselves to each patient.
Interested to see how the new pharma marketing trends work in practice? Contact a Watson Clark representative today.